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Sips of Recently Tasted Oregon Pinot Noir & More

2012 Arterberry Maresh Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $55. From third generation Dundee Hills winemaker Jim Maresh. Vinified in a small winery at the top of Maresh Vineyard. Non-irrigated vines. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. The nose never really arrives even after extensive swirling over 2 hours. Shy scents of underbrush and seasoned oak. Moderately rich black cherry and black raspberry flavors with plenty of oak underpinning. Still sporting young fine-grain tannins and the fruit tastes a tad under ripe. There is vibrant acidity and some finishing intensity. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was about the same. I would give this wine at least another year in bottle to emerge. Score: 89

2012 Bergström Le Pré do Col Vineyard Ribbon Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $52. Vineyard is one mile west of the winery, a 16-acre estate-farmed site owned by the Hill family. Planted in 2006 to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in marine sedimentary soils in a relatively warm microclimate. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Shy fruit on the nose with plenty of spicy and tobacco-laced oak. Well-structured but not muscular, with a very tasty core of darker fruits including black cherry, plum and blackberry. The finish is most notable because of its boldness and length. The wine still displays a significant oak overlay that should integrate over time. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the oak was less evident. Score: 90

2012 Bergström Silice Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $56. Sourced from a 21-acre estate-farmed vineyard contiguous to the winery owned by Joan Camp. Sedimentary hillside site that is rich in silica, situated at 400 feet elevation. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. I found the nose very appealing with a complex array of scents including cherry, raspberry, cola, bark and cola. On entry, there is an explosion of dark red cherry and raspberry fruit that expands in the mouth and holds on tenaciously on the finish. Very polished with supportive oak treatment, a velvety mouth feel and admirable harmony. Score: 92

2012 Big Table Farm Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 785 cases, $40. A combination of new, once used and neutral barrels from all Pinot Noir sites. Whole cluster fermentation is the backbone of this wine. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Great nose with elevating aromas of ripe cherry mash, black grape preserves, and plum sauce. Good fullness with intoxicating exotic spices and a full complement of tasty black raspberry and plum fruits with a hint of Dr. Pepper, mocha java and cola. This pleasure juice is ready for current drinking. An impressive appellation wine that benefited from whole cluster fermentation in this vintage. Score: 91

2012 Big Table Farm Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 224 cases, $48. 30% whole cluster. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A glorious nose offers upbeat aromas of black raspberry, cherry, blueberry, spice, and espresso. This wine has more oak presence than I like initially, but the fruit intensity can take it, and the wine sheds its oak the longer it sits in the glass. Vibrant fruit flavors of well-ripened black raspberry and black cherry, nicely spiced. Similar to the Willamette Valley wine in flavor profile but more intensity, a longer finish, and a more seductively plush mouth feel. This wine grows on you, the longer you spend with it. Easily a ten year wine.5 Score: 94

2011 Cardwell Hill Cellars Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $40. Estate grown, produced and bottled. The estate vineyard is located in Philomath in the western Willamette Valley. Clones are Wädenswil, Pommard, 115 and 777. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A well-mannered wine with aromas of black cherry, spice and raisin leading to a juicy core of black cherry and red raspberry fruits complimented by a deft touch of oak. Nicely balanced tannins and easily accessible. The most notable feature is the intensely fruity finish that lasts and lasts. Score: 89

2011 Coeur de Terre Vineyard Estate McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $36. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Perfumed with scents of raspberry, blackberry and toasted oak. Mid weight core of juicy, oak-infused black cherry and darker berry fruits. Currently showing a generous oak sheen and plenty of tannin, both of which should integrate with more time in bottle. Score: 89

2011 Coeur de Terre Vineyard Abby’s Block McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $65. Planted in 1999 to 9 clones and is the mother block for the rest of the vineyard plantings. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Rich, sumptuous nose offering an array of darker red and black stone and berry fruits with a touch of oak-driven aromas of dark chocolate and molasses. A full mouthful of well-ripened black cherry and dark berry fruit backed by prominent fine-grain tannins that keep the fruit in line. The most sap in the lineup with a generous fruit-driven finish. A little one-dimensional now, but has special potential, and will benefit from a year or two in the cellar. Score: 91

2011 Coeur de Terre Vineyard Tallulah’s Run Reserve McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $65. From two adjacent blocks mid-slope in the vineyard with fractured siltstone and sandy loam soils. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is very shy and lacking in fruit, offering instead aromas of mocha, brioche and malt. Mid weight flavors of red cherry and cranberry with a touch of oak spice. Silky in texture with an uplifting and pleasing finish. The aromas haven’t arrived and the fruit seems buried like many Pinots from the 2011 vintage, so I recommend another year or two in bottle. Score: 89

2011 Coeur de Terre Vineyard Renelle’s Block McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $65. Mid-slope with unidentified soils unique to the vineyard. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Modest in weight but flavorful, with a charge of black cherry, blueberry and pomegranate fruit accented with sweet oak. Shows more polish and finesse and an appealingly tart cherry finish charged with acidity. Will benefit from another year in bottle. Score: 90

2011 Coeure de Terre Vineyard Sarah Jane’s Block McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $65. The second block planted on the estate (from Renelle’s Block) and the largest block. Willakenzie soils. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. This wine is awkward and not particularly appealing yet. The nose lacks fruit, offering primarily oak-driven scents. The juicy black cherry core is swallowed up in oak and tannin. The sappy fruit and length of finish indicate potential, but I would not touch this wine for another 2 years. Score: 88

2012 Coeur de Terre Vineyard Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $19, screwcap. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Initial aromas of blackberry, plum and sweet oak tend to fade over time in the glass. Mid to full-bodied spice black plum and black raspberry fruit. Very forward and generous with a muscular tannin load. A fruit bomb with complimentary oak and an intensely fruity finish. Score: 86

2013 Coeur de Terre Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Rustique Rosé

12.9% alc., $20. A saignée of estate Syrah with a touch of Riesling. · Moderate pinkish red color and clear in the glass. Aromas of strawberry, cherry and herbs echoed on the flavorful palate that is crisp and rewarding. Medium-bodied, with flavors of strawberry, cranberry, and peppery spice. Finishes with a panoply of flavors including tart cherry, raspberry, strawberry and herbs. A great summer fling. Score: 89

2011 Brittan Vineyards Gestalt Block McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $55 (sold out). From the most exposed blocks in the vineyard so always transparent to its vintage. Primarily 115, 667 and 777. Aged 9 months in modest new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Deeply perfumed with intriguing aromas of dark plum and berries, underbrush and wine cave. Vibrant, racy and vivid dark stone and berry fruits with an underlying tangy citric acidity. The wine finishes with a tart sweet and sour finish and a profusion of tannin. Score: 89

2012 Elk Cove La Bohémé Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $60. This is a high elevation and steep south-facing vineyard with well-drained Willakenzie soils located high above the Elk Cove property. The vineyard was planted in 1984 using cuttings from the Elk Cove Estate Vineyard. · Moderate and bright reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of black cherry, black raspberry, plum, violet, red licorice, cardamom and wood spice. Mid weight flavors of dark stone fruits and berries with complimentary oak and spice in the background. The attack is mouth filling, the fruit is bright and juicy, and the finish is rewarding. A pretty wine that was still solid the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 92

2012 Evesham Wood Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $19. Sourced from non-irrigated, organically and sustainably-farmed vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Aged 10 months in less than 10% new French oak. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Appealing scents of red rose, cherry and spice. Nicely perfumed attack of cherry, red raspberry and spice goodness caressed by well-honed tannins. Soft and smooth on the palate with some finishing length. An impressive Willamette Valley appellation bottling that is priced for everyday drinking. Score: 90

Note: Christine Andrus has revived the Gypsy Dancer label. After Gary passed away, Christine moved to South Dakota and went into the Bison business. Over time, she felt a yearning to make wine again. She recruited winemaker Rebecca Pittock-Shouldis (Ghost Hill Cellars) to make the Gypsy Dancer Tribute wine. A second wine, Gypsy Dancer Legacy, will be made by Gary’s fellow winemakers who were touched and influenced by Gary. See www.gypsydancerwine.com for the full Gypsy Dancer story.

2012 Gypsy Dancer Legacy Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $45. Grapes sourced from Dukes Family Vineyards (Gary and Christine Andrus helped them start in the wine business). Unfined, unfiltered and un-inoculated. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of cherry, briar and oak. Mid weight flavors of cherry and pomegranate with herbs and oak in the background. A bit tight, finishing with a hint of citrus-flavored cherry. Score: 88

2010 Gypsy Dancer Tribute Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 42 cases, $65. The first Tribute Pinot Noir made by Todd Hamina of Biggio-Hamina, a long time friend of Gary’s. On the back label, Todd shares his feelings of reverence for his friend and mentor. · Moderate light reddish purple color with a slight orange rim. Aromas of cherry, potpourri and smoke. Light but flavorful, with tastes of cherry, cranberry, orange zest, sandalwood and smoky oak. Filled with juicy acidity and offering mature tannins. Score: 88

2012 Haden Fig Cancilla Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 148 cases, $30. Produced and bottled at Evesham Wood by the same winemaker. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with bright aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, dried rose petals and spice. Delicious mid to full-bodied flavors of black cherry and black raspberry that fills the mouth with goodness and carries over to the captivating finish. This beauty has the structure for the long haul and deft oak harmony. Did I say the finish was amazing? A steal at this wallet-friendly price. Score: 93

2012 Haden Fig Bjornson Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 123 cases, $30. 5 favorite barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Interesting aromatics featuring scents of ripe cherry, fig (seems appropriate) and bourbon. Extra-delicious core of black cherry and black raspberry fruit, nicely spiced with an additional peppery note. Admirable harmony, and a long, memorable finish that makes the knees weak. This is a wine that tugs at your emotions and defies adequate description. One of the best values in Oregon Pinot Noir. Score: 94

2012 Harper Voit Strandline Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 405 cases, $35. Sourced from Antiquum, Bieze and Huntington Hill vineyards. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Alive with aromas even after an hour in the glass offering scents of black raspberry, plum, spice and vanilla. Intense and delicious on the palate, with a mouth filling attack of purple fruits with a hint of spice and cola. Finishes with length and bombastic fruit. Very forward and giving. Still aromatic the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 93

2012 Harper Voit Huntington Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 46 cases, $55. Dijon clones 667 and 777. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose opens nicely over time in the glass, offering an array of charming aromas including boysenberry, plum, chocolate, spice and vanilla. Refined and polished on the palate, blessed with a long and balanced palate of purple berries and spice. Rather seductive with good length on the satisfying finish. Still terrific the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 92

2012 Harper Voit Bieze Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 46 cases, $55. Pommard clone and Calera selection on Nekia and Ritner soils · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Love this nose which is alive the scent of boysenberry, black raspberry, violets, spice, and oak vanillin. Incredible sweet fruit presence in the mouth which carries over to an amazingly intense finish that offers a rainbow of purple fruits. The remarkable finish was still pumping the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. My only nit is a slight sense of alcohol on the finish which keeps it from receiving a Pinot Geek award. Score: 92

2012 Harper Voit Antiquum Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 46 cases, $55. Pommard, Dijon 777 and Wädenswil clones planted in Bellpine soil at a high elevation. Formerly Old School Vineyard. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. A savory nose of interest with aromas of briar, Herbs de Provence, purple and black berries and a touch of herbal oak. This wine really stands out from the 2012 lineup due to its dried herb thread in the background. Mid weight purple fruits are clothed in modest tannins and the finish and long and generous. Score: 90

2013 Harper Voit Surlie Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc

13.6% alc., 300 cases, $20. Barrel fermented and aged sur lie. · Very light yellow color and clear in the glass. Fruity nose offering fresh aromas of pear, white peach and mango. A gregarious wine that is easy to like with intense Bartlett pear flavor and a touch of nectarine. Especially good chilled as an aperitif and a worthwhile followup to the excellent 2012 vintage of this wine. Score: 90

2012 Antiquum Farm Juel Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 225 cases, $37. A meticulously farmed vineyard with native cover crops at a high elevation with thin soils. Aged in 40% new French oak. · Very dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is shy and brooding, offering demure aromas of purple and black berry jam. Deep berry and plum flavor that tends to be more generous over time in the glass. A barely noticeable thread of acidity runs through the background. The tannins are mildly aggressive but the mouth feel is still plush. Amazing length on the finish which displays a touch of alcoholic heat. The most reserved wine in the 2012 lineup. Score: 91

2012 Antiquum Farm Passiflora Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 45 cases, $55. Aged in 60% new French oak. · Very dark reddish purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with scents of spiced marionberries, rose petal and vanillin oak. Deeply flavored with a full monty of blackberry and marionberry fruits that are beautifully offset by the generous oak treatment and fine-grain tannins. An engaging wine of uncommon presence that has a juicy cut of acidity in the background. This wine has all the components for a long life ahead. My only nit is the sense of alcoholic heat on the finish. Score: 93

2011 Lange Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $32, screwcap. 25th vintage (1987-2011). Winemakers Don and Jesse Lange choose the best barrels from premier vineyards. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This wine is heavily shouldered with oak aromas and flavors. The mid weight core of dark cherry and berry fruits is compressed by rugged tannins. Not particularly appealing now, this wine may surprise in another year or two as many 2011 Willamette Valley Pinots have improved with time in bottle. Score: 87

2012 Maison L’Envoyé Two Messengers Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $36. Name translates as “House of the Envoy.” 100% de-stemmed, fermented whole berry, aged in 20% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The juicy core of fresh black cherry, plum and cola flavors is overshadowed by a prominent oak sheen most evident on the nose. The tannins are balanced, the acidity is uplifting, and the wine tries to please. Score: 87

2012 Maison L’Envoyé The Attaché Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $48. A barrel selection of grapes grown in volcanic and sedimentary soils. Aged in 40% new French oak barrels. · Shy aromas of black cherry, forest floor and seasoned oak. Welcoming fullness on the palate, with a bright, sappy cherry core complimented by a hint of cola and sweet oak. Juicy, with managed tannins and a big finish filled with black cherry goodness. Score: 89

2012 Meristem Meredith Mitchell Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $45. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of raspberry, spice and oak. Full-bodied, velvety flavors of blackberry and black raspberry that fill the mouth with sweetness and sappiness, ending with a flourish of chewy, very ripe opulence. Syrah in size and character. Score: 87

2011 Olenik Vineyards Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 75 cases, $45. From a 14.7-acre vineyard split off from the Jacob-Hart Vineyard in 2005. Winemaker Christopher Mazepink (Archery Summit). The vineyard is situated at 333 to 450 feet elevation and is a unique rocky site composed of fractured basalt covering Jory soils on the eastern side and purely sedimentary soils on the western side. Harvest Brix 24.2º-25.3º. A blend of Pommard, 777 and 115. 100% de-stemmed. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of darker fruits, brown spice, iodine and green herbs. Mid weight flavors of plum, purple grapes and cassis with a green herbal vein in the background. Good fruit intensity with balanced dry tannins and respectable length on the finish. Unchanged the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Tasted twice. Score: 88

2012 Olenik Vineyards Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 125 cases, $45. Harvest Brix 26.6º-27.4º. A blend of Pommard, 777 and 115 planted in 1999. · Dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Much riper fruit profile than the 2011 bottling with scents of black cherry, black raspberry and spice. Mid to full-bodied with a luscious core of sappy black raspberry and black cherry fruits that floods the palate. Appealing oak compliment in the background and a generous sweet fruit finish. A big boy wine that will appeal to fruit hedonists. A touch of heat surfaces in the background. Score: 89

2012 Owen Roe Lenné Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $44. Label depicts Muckross Abbey in County Kern, Ireland that was swept up in Owen Roe O’Neill’s battle for Irish freedom in the 1640s. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Extroverted nose with a flourish of black raspberry, plum and spice aromas. Delicious essence of fresh black raspberry and blackberry with a touch of tea and cola. The velvety texture is captivating and fruit-filled finish pulls you back for more. Firm, but wellbalanced tannins suggest long term age ability. Well-crafted juice from one of Willamette Valley’s premier vineyards. Score: 93

2012 Owen Roe Merrimen Vineyard Wädenswil Block Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $44. Sourced from a 30-acre vineyard farmed by owner Mike Merriman. The label depicts the Abbey of Clonmacnois in Ireland. · Medium reddish purple hue in the glass. Perfumed with hi-tone aromas of black cherry and baking spices. Modest in weight but flavorful, offering a rainbow of redder fruits with accents of spice, mocha and vanilla. Soft, silky and very giving with welcome brightness and harmony. Score: 92

2011 Phelps Creek Vineyards “Regina” Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 220 cases, $34. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of red cherry, beef and soy. Light to mid-weight flavors of red cherry and cranberry backed by lively acidity and suave tannins. Soft in the mouth and easy to drink, with good oak integration. Nothing to complain about, but nothing special. Score: 88

2011 Phelps Creek Vineyards Crest Block Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 80 cases, $N/A. This block is west of the winery on a windward slope absorbing the blunt of strong breezes leading to slight dehydration and thicker skin thickness bringing more concentration to the wine. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Perfumed with fresh crushed red berries, oak and rose petals. Delicious mid weight essence of dark red berries with hints of cherry and pomegranate. Nicely integrated tannins, lively acidity and complimentary oak in the background. A thoroughly enjoyable wine that can be drunk now but has the goods to improve in the cellar. Score: 93

2012 Purple Hands Stoller Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 700 cases, $24. Clones are 777 and Wädenswil. · Moderately dark reddish purple color. Very shy upon opening, slowly revealing aromas of black raspberry, black plum and subtle oak. Middleweight flavors of dark stone and berry fruits backed by muscular fine-grain tannins and a modest oak sheen. Rather linear at this time with the fruit still compressed in tannins. Score: 88

2012 Purple Hands Barbon Wahl Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 200 cases, $30. Pommard clone. · Demure aromas of dark berry jam, spice and balsam. Juicy and appealing, with a discreetly concentrated core of fresh, juicy dark red and black berries. The wine possesses an admirable attack and finish with balanced tannins. Score: 89

2012 Roots Fairsing Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $40. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Elevating aromas of dark red and black berry mash with a hint of oak charm. Needs time in the glass to flesh out, becoming livelier, and revealing a good mid palate attack of black cherry, dark berry and cassis flavors that are complimented by spice and anise-laced oak. Soft and seductive in the mouth with balanced tannins and a bright finish. Score: 90

2012 Roots Cancilla Vineyard Willamette Valley PInot Noir

14.0% alc., $40. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Beguiling shy scents of black cherry, blackberry, black currant and plum. The dark cherry and berry fruits fill the mouth with overreaching intensity and finish with flashy aplomb. The substantial tannins are balanced by the concentrated fruit load. A vein of spice runs through for accent. Score: 90

2012 Roots Fairsing Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.3% alc., $35. · Moderately light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Aromas of lemon cream, brown butter and roasted nuts. Slightly creamy and very smooth on the palate, with a core of lemon and golden apple flavors accented with toasty, nutty oak. Score: 90

2012 Roots Saffron Fields Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $40. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A raft of blackberry, black raspberry and black cherry fruit fuels a very pleasurable nose and palate. Mid to full-bodied, with an attention-getting grainy mouth feel, and plenty of finishing goodness. Plenty of harmony and pleasure at work here. Score: 92

2012 Roots Roots Estate Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $40. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A cherry bombast with an explosion of fresh, fully ripened cherry goodness highlighting the nose and palate. Some elegance and modest tannins that keep the fruit in line. Assertive and showy, yet caressing in the mouth, with an intensely cherry-driven finish. You begged for more cherry and here it is. Score: 93

2013 Roots Deux Vert Vineyard Willamette Valley Melon de Bourgogne

12.8% alc., $22. Chris Berg crafts this wine from a wellknown vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton district. · Very light yellow color and clear in the glass. Pleasingly aromatic with scents of baked peach and banana peel. Soft in the mouth and lightly flavored, featuring notes of lemon curd, golden apple and peach. Picks up power on the refreshing finish that is brightened by good acidity. A delicate wine that is uniquely Oregon in the USA. Score: 89

2012 Scott Paul Le Paulée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $39, screwcap. Sourced from Maresh and Nysa vineyards in the Dundee Hills and Ribbon Ridge and Azana vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Flamboyant aromas of ripe black cherries, black raspberries, red grapes and spice lead to a rich and satisfying mid weight palate of dark cherry, dark berry and black plum flavors. The mouth feel is pure velvet and plush, and the finish is persistent. Plenty of sap in this vintage. Score: 91

2012 Scott Paul Audrey Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $83. Magnums too ($175). Sourced from special old vine blocks of Maresh Vineyard. · Moderately dark reddish purple color that glows in the glass. Spectacular aromas of raspberry, dark cherry and spice that pick up intensity over time in the glass. Mid to full-bodied core of juicy black cherry and black raspberry flavors that are vivid and uplifting. The finish is intense with flavors fanning out in unabashed generosity. This wine has that old vine nuance that emotes. Big and curvy in this vintage, this normally elegant bottling still retains some of that seductiveness. More restrained at this stage than the Le Paulée, but offers more upside long term. A wine to contemplate. Score: 94

2012 Sharecropper’s Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $20. By Owen Roe. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The pleasing aromas keep coming over time in the glass including black cherry, black raspberry and cardamom spice. Mid weight but full-flavored with a bevy of darker stone and berry fruits supported by ripe tannins. Very soft in the mouth and easily accessible with some finishing drive and opulence. One of Oregon’s greatest value-priced Pinot Noirs. Score: 91

2012 St. Innocent Villages Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 1,621 cases, $23. The core of this wine comes from Vitae Springs Vineyard (56%), with contributions from Freedom Hill (6%), Zenith (28%) and Momtazi (10%). 2-day cold soak, fermented in stainless steel, aged 12 months in 14% new French oak, and bottled without fining. · The nose is pleasing with aromas of purple grapes, blackberries, cassis and oak. Mid to full-bodied frame of purple and black fruits. Forward and fruit-driven, with a well-matched backbone of suave tannins. A solid, everyday wine. Score: 88

2012 St. Innocent Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 1,045 cases, $35. This high altitude site is located ten miles northwest of Salem. Sourced from three blocks planted in 1984 (East Block), 1995 (Pump Home Block) and 2004 (“R” Block). Yield 1.4 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed, fermented in stainless steel bins, aged in 23% new French oak for 16 months and bottled without fining. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Significantly more aromatic and expressive the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Aromas of black cherries, dried herbs, and subtle oak. Crisp, bright and easy going with light to mid weight flavors of cherries and raspberries with some finishing power and length. The tannins are modest and the backing acidity is bright. Needs time to integrate the oak and become fully engaged. Decant if you must open now. Score: 91

2012 St. Innocent Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 630 cases, $50. Sourced from Block 6 (Pommard and 115) and Terrace Block (Pommard). Yield 1.6 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed, fermented in oak fermenters. Aged 16 months in 20% new French oak and bottled without fining. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Tight upon opening and much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Aromas of dark berries, spice, flint and oak. Delicious Bing cherry and black raspberry core with complimentary oak in the background. Bright and full on the palate, with an impressive, cherry-licking finish. A keeper. Decant if you must drink now. Score: 93

2013 Stoller Family Estate Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay

12.5% alc., pH 3.23, TA 0.69, 2,100 cases, $20, screwcap. · Pale golden yellow color in the glass. Nicely appointed with aromas of lemon zest and peach and delicious flavors of yellow peach, citrus and vanilla wafer. Slightly creamy on the palate with bright acidity and a refreshing, persistent lemon drop finish. One of the better Oregon Chardonnays I have tasted lately. Score: 91

2012 The Eyrie Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $30. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels. Unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This relatively lean wine is true to the Eyrie style. Aromas of cherry, raspberry and herbs are echoed on the fresh and delicate palate. Modest tannins, complimentary oak, and an impressively long finish with aromatic goodness lasting over half a minute. Score: 90

2010 Thomas Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $95 (secondary market). · Light garnet color in the glass. Unusual nose offering scents of cherry skin, stem and humus. Light red cherry fruit at the core with a hint of raspberry. Decent attack and persistence with soft tannins and very bright acidity. A stemmy note pervades the background. Light, even a bit austere, but with a pleasing acid-driven cherry-fueled finish. Better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, with more spice and sandalwood on the nose, but still austere fruit with dominant tannins and acidity. Score: 87

2011 Thomas Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $80 (secondary market). A cult wine with no winery website, very small estate production allocated to a mailing list. Very difficult to track down access to mailing list. Often sold at 2 to 3 times release price on secondary market. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Shy, but appealing aromas of cherry, raspberry, spice and oak all in harmony. More intensity and sparkle than the 2010 bottling, with vivid cherry, raspberry, and spice and a flowery note in the background. Notable dry tannins should resolve over time. Plenty of cherry and spice on the soprano finish. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had become more expressive and interesting with more spice, fruit brightness, and softer tannins. Very age worthy. Score: 92

2012 Walter Scott Clos Des Oiseux Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 300 cases, $40. Released March 2014. Vineyard owned by Marek and Maureen Waligora. 2.8-acres farmed by Sterling Fox. Clones co-fermented with native yeasts and aged 15 months in 40% new French oak. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose never comes alive in the glass over considerable time. Shy aromas of cassis, black plum and blackberry with an echo of oak. Mid weight, straight forward array of black cherry, black raspberry and blackberry fruits with a modest oak sheen. Smoothly textured, with plenty of dry tannins on the finish. Could benefit from more time in the cellar. Score: 87

2011 Winter’s Hill Estate Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $34. Grapes exclusively from the winery’s Dundee Hills Estate Vineyard. Jory soils at 525-730 feet elevation. Certified Sustainable and Salmon Safe since 1999. 100% de-stemmed, 1-day cold soak before yeast inoculation. Aged 24 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Estate bottled. · Light garnet color in the glass. Initially the bright aromas of cherry, strawberry, spice and sandalwood are appealing, but they fade over time in the glass. The flavors echo the aroma profile in a light, elegantly styled wine. More flavorful than one would expect from the color with some green herbs (a sign of unripe fruit) showing up in the background. Some slightly astringent tannins show up on the tart cherry finish. Score: 87

2012 Winter’s Hill Estate Watershed Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $25. Stemmed grapes cold soaked for 3 days before yeast inoculation. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely earth-bound aromas of fresh cherries. Very tasty and uplifting, with broad mid weight flavors of fresh cherries and a touch of spice and savory herbs. The cherry fruit really sparkles. Forward and easy to drink, with a silky mouth feel, modest tannins, and a complimentary riff of oak and citrus on the refreshing, cherry-driven finish. A delightful cherry bombast. Score: 91

2012 Winters Hill Estate Single Block Series Block 4 Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 95 cases, $44. Part of the original 1990 planting in a cooler area of the vineyard that is the last block of Pinot Noir to be harvested. Own-rooted Pommard clone. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Highly aromatic, with scents of boysenberry, plum, cherry, spice and woodshed. Mid weight parade of luscious dark red and purple fruits backed by silky tannins. Impressive attack and finish with flattering oak in the background. Score: 91

2012 Winters Hill Estate Single Block Series Block 9-114 Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 97 cases, $44. Dijon clone 114. Inaugural vintage of 100% clone 114 Pinot Noir. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Black cherry and oak spice aromas lead to a mid to full-bodied array of black cherry and black raspberry fruits. Intense attack, luscious mid palate, and a generous finish that lasts and lasts. A full mouthful of Pinot from a rarely met with monoclonal 114 bottling. Score: 92

2012 Winters Hill Estate Single Block Series Block 9-115 Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 72 cases, $44. Dijon clone 115. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Large scale aromas of black cherry, brioche, wooded forest and chocolate donut. Plenty of black cherry and raspberry fruit presence in the mouth with supple tannins and good finishing crispness. Not as sappy as the clone 114 bottling, but very satisfying with especially noteworthy balance. Score: 92

2012 Winters Hill Estate Single Block Series Block 10 Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 72 cases, $44. Highest elevation block on the estate between 625 and 700 feet. Pommard clone. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very exotic nose with dancing aromas of spiced berries and plum and hints of incense. Perfect balance of well-ripened black cherry, black berry and plum fruits, spirited acidity and refined tannins. Very polished and broad in the mouth with an aristocratic feel. Score: 93

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